AFDA Cape Town alumni, Tsoku Maela, who graduated with a BA in Motion Picture, majoring in screenwriting, began creating conceptual self- portraiture after a medical emergency in 2014 left him bedridden for more than a week. Since then he has risen as one of the young artists to watch on the contemporary scene. He was inducted into CNN’s watch list of African voices and appeared on VICE’s Creators project.
He has also featured in a number of publications and shows locally and internationally, including Hyperallergic, City Press, Marie Claire, Afropunk and Afternoon Express.
Tsoku’s conceptual work deals with underlying issues that he feels don’t get enough scope in open spaces, ranging from the visceral and spiritual to the geopolitical, in hopes of driving meaningful conversations around the topics and bringing about a change in mindset and perspective. His works are curated by 99 Loop Gallery in Cape Town.
He broke onto the international art fair market for the first time in October 2016, where his acclaimed series Broken Things was showcased at the Lagos Photo Festival alongside some of the most famous artists in Africa. His recent photo series, Abstract Peaces, really strike a chord, showing how urgently we need to foster a healthy dialogue around mental illness, particularly in communities where it is not regarded as a serious or valid issue.
By day, Tsoku plies his trade as a screenwriter for the youth show Hectic Nine-9. It’s a position he’s held for just over a year and is his first foray into television.
See more about Tsoku here: